Comparative approaches for assessing network vulnerability

Tony H. Grubesic, Timothy C. Matisziw, Alan T. Murray, Diane Snediker

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

142 Scopus citations


A common theme in analysis and evaluation of network-based critical infrastructure is the assessment of system vulnerability. Graph theoretic, simulation, and optimization-based techniques have played a significant role in examining potential network vulnerabilities given the insights they can provide for mitigating facility loss and prioritizing fortification efforts. Central to these approaches is the concept of facility (arc-node) importance or criticality to system survivability. Assessments of network vulnerability can dramatically differ based on how facility importance is characterized. In this review, various approaches for assessing facility importance and network vulnerability are examined. The key differences in these approaches are the ways in which a facility's role in maintaining network operability is evaluated given arc-node disruption. Comparative results suggest significant differences exist among measures of facility importance and network performance. Furthermore, the subsequent incongruities in these measures and their implications need to be clearly understood to support interdiction risk and vulnerability assessment for critical infrastructures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)88-112
Number of pages25
JournalInternational Regional Science Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Critical infrastructure
  • Graph theory
  • Interdiction
  • Networks
  • Scale-free networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)


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